Those 'War on Christmas' Claims Sure Were Dumb!

I find it quite interesting how some got upset at stores saying "happy holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." Kwanzaa and Hanukkah are also celebrated during this time, so "happy holidays" is more appropriate.

My reason for writing is to clarify, with facts, that Christmas is a misnomer, since it was chosen to correspond with pagan festivals taking place around the winder solstice. The Roman Saturnalia took place at this time, and many Christmas customs are rooted in this ancient pagan celebration.

The New Catholic Encylopedia states that the "date of Christ's birth is unknown." Plus, Luke 2:8-11 shows shepherds were in the fields at night at the time of Jesus' birth. The book Daily Life in the Time of Jesus states that "flocks passed the winter under cover, and from this alone it may be seen that traditional date for Christmas is unlikely to be right."

Just thought I'd pass along facts to the so-called Christians who want to worship in truth.

Gabe Molina

Danehy's Right: Cheerleading Can Be Needlessly Dangerous

My 13-year-old daughter has been involved with a local football and cheerleading group for three seasons (Danehy, Dec. 15). Being quite athletic and agile, as well as lightweight, she has been the designated "stunter" with her squad. One stunt is the frequently seen toss-the-cheerleader-in-the-air stunt, where she's caught by four teammates. However, in one occurence this fall, one of her catchers was a 10-year-old girl, and not part of the usual stunt group. My daughter was tossed in the air in an uncontrolled manner, and was not caught at all. She landed on her head and neck. After an ambulance ride and an evening at the emergency room with an MRI, she was deemed OK. She was sore for several days, however, and has no recollection of the incident.

Most other cheer parents were equally shocked and dismayed by this event. However, one stated, "Well, you did sign a waiver of liability for cheerleading." My daughter was then forbidden to participate in stunting.

At the city championships in November, there were two strong and burly young men on the floor with the girls, at all times, to be spotters. No such safety measures exist on the football field during routine practices and games. I believe it foolhardy to allow such activities to continue, endangering the health and life of cheerleaders.

Nancy Leland

Wanna Fix Animal Control? Mandatory Dog Licensing!

Your Dec. 8 Guest Commentary on irresponsible dog owners provides yet another example of how our nation's animal-control system fails to work.

The current system offers no mechanism for preventing irresponsible people from becoming dog owners in the first place. So, until the authorities catch up with them, these people are free to allow their dogs to run loose, bark incessantly and otherwise ruin the quality of life for the rest of us.

However, there is a ray of hope on the horizon. There is a worldwide movement dedicated to creating and implementing a better animal-control system. Learn more at

Martha Retallick

Isn't Sept. 11 Worth a More Detailed Investigation?

Sam Zales claims that Osama bin Laden planned and executed Sept. 11, assisted by some friends ("Back to Serraglio: He Wants the Truth? Well, Wake Up!" Mailbag, Dec. 15). Apparently, Sam failed to notice that there was no criminal investigation after Sept. 11. There was no criminal investigation, because we all know what happened, right? Within two hours, undisclosed sources using undisclosed evidence claimed "Osama did it." Then, within 24 hours, we saw pictures of the 19 hijackers. Case closed!

There are a few problems with the "evidence." First of all, according to CNN (Sept. 17, 2001), Osama bin Laden denied involvement in the attacks. Luckily, U.S. intelligence agencies came into possession of the "confession tape" by undisclosed means and sources and made it public. The problem with the confession tape is that it doesn't look like previous known versions of Osama. On Dec. 27, 2001, another videotape of Osama that looked like prior versions was broadcast on Al-Jazeera, and he looked much thinner and in poor health compared to the "confession tape." For a credible discussion, see

Then we have the 19 hijackers. The passenger lists published by CNN and elsewhere are free of any Arab names, much less any matching the alleged hijackers. It has been claimed that the names of the hijackers were on the flight manifests. However, there is no public evidence of this. Furthermore, according to various news services (ABC, BBC, CNN, etc.), six of the 19 hijackers showed up alive after the attacks. One of the suspected hijackers had previously died in a small plane crash, according to CNN. For a list of sources regarding the "resurrected hijackers," see

You may or may not believe that some members of our own government were involved to justify the "war on terror" and the U.S. military domination of the world as described in the statements published on You will see that many of the policy statements there are signed by key people at the highest levels of our government.

Whatever you believe, I'm sure that we can all agree on one thing--the murder of more than 3,000 people warrants a credible criminal investigation and an examination and interpretation of the physical evidence that is consistent with the laws of physics.

Bob Kahl

At Protests, Provocation Can Endanger Innocents

Jeneiene Schaffer mentions in her article that anarchism can mean a lot of different things (Guest Commentary, Nov. 3). I would like to add that "peaceful," "nonviolent" and "anarchist" are not mutually exclusive (I know plenty of anarchist pacifists) and that there is nothing necessarily more "radical" about the anarchist tactics being discussed.

I only object to these tactics when they are brought into a demonstration organized by others. There is no way that people attending can expect them and their potential effect on a demonstration.

My primary concern is that provocative words and actions have a serious impact on other protesters that can not in good conscience be ignored. When the police respond to the actions of the primarily white, able-bodied, young protesters, who else will be affected? The answer: small children, elders and people in wheelchairs or otherwise with limited mobility who cannot easily run away from police clubs and tear gas. People of certain ethnicity or race who are often targetted in such situations by police.

Yusuke J. Banno states ("Blame TPD, Not the Anarchists, for Protest Problems," Mailbag, Nov. 17) that he doesn't want to give up the freedom to be spontaneous to be more safe, but I'm afraid that in the situation of a large demonstration, it is not just his own safety being put at risk. And is it fair for a small group to make that decision for everyone present?

Don't like peacekeepers at demonstrations? Don't attend demonstrations that have peacekeepers. Don't agree with the way demonstrations are being organized or feel they're too restrictive? Participate in planning or organize your own demonstrations. There's a lot of work to be done, and understanding and respect from everyone involved would only help.

Felice Cohen-Joppa


In "Forms by Females" (Visual Arts, Dec. 22), the name of an artist was incorrect. The encaustic painting "And All Shall Be" was created by Lucinda Young, not Lucinda Childs. The Weekly apologizes for the error.
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